Top Headlines - part 11
BUSINESS March 19, 2014 | 3:22 PM
- Several smartwatches to be on market this year
- Android Wear similar to smartphone software
- Wearable computers might be niche market
Search engine Google Inc. is partnering with software, technology and fashion companies to control the course of smartwatch development.
Later this year, voice controlled smartwatches are expected to debut on the market. The watches would be used to respond to text messages, open garage doors and access music, among other uses. They would connect to smartphones and sensors.Read more »
BUSINESS March 18, 2014 | 5:20 PM
- Vivendi decides on Altice’s slightly higher bid over that of Bouygues for SFR deal to shorten wait time and regulatory complications
- Vivendi to shed its telecommunications division and focus on pay television, music
- Bouygues unveiled that if deal with Vivendi went through, it would sell spectrum and network assets to Free Mobile
A recent bidding war for French mobile network operator SFR, which belongs to Paris-based telecommunications and media company Vivendi, saw Altice-owned cable group Numericable win out over telecommunications and construction company Bouygues, both also with Paris headquarters.
Altice, Numericable’s parent company, offered Vivendi a counter bid of €11.75 billion (over $16.4 billion USD) as well as a hefty stake (of at least 32%) in the united Numericable/SFR.Read more »
BUSINESS March 17, 2014 | 5:42 PM
- Ads to appear regularly in newsfeeds in April
- Facebook has spent months testing this form of marketing
- Videos to target specific audiences
Facebook Inc., the world’s largest social network, will debut 15-second video advertisements in newsfeeds in an effort to increase the website's profitability.
The ads began to be offered to select US ad partners this month and will appear in newsfeeds in late April or early May. Users will not see the same video more than three times daily, and Facebook has said it will focusing on higher-quality promotions instead of showing more ads to users.Read more »
BUSINESS March 17, 2014 | 3:27 PM
- Rosneft to hold 50% of consortium
- Deal mutually benefitical
- Rosneft and Pirelli signed marketing agreement in 2012
OAO Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil producer, will become the largest investor in Italian manufacturer Pirelli & C. SpA, the world's fifth-largest tire maker, after taking a stake in the consortium which will own Pirelli.
The current consortium, Lauro61/Camfin, owns 26% of Pirelli. It will dissolve and create a new company. Rosneft will take over investor Nuove Partecipazioni.Read more »
BUSINESS March 14, 2014 | 5:55 PM
- Harsh winter weather, sluggish economy and internal decision-making factors behind McDonald’s global sales decline of 0.3%
- McDonald’s revenue hit hardest in US, where stiff competition for its popular breakfast and coffee menu threatens to reduce market share
- McDonald to focus on better customer service and improved menus, particularly in breakfast offerings
Recently McDonald’s Corp. revealed that the figures for its comparable-store sales in February worldwide had dropped much lower than expected, largely due to a decline in business at its over 14,200 US sites.
Consensus Metrix reported that for restaurants open for a minimum of 13 months—thus more established—global sales dipped by 0.3%. The overall picture for McDonald’s roughly 35,400 restaurants around the world is lackluster. Only the European market, the company’s most profitable, had gains, with February sales increasing by 0.6%. In Africa, the Middle and Asia Pacific, however, sales dropped by 2.6%. The 0.3% global sales decline this past quarter eclipsed analysts’ predictions of 0.1%. In the US, same-restaurant sales dropped by 1.4%, more than twice the 0.6% predicted by analysts.Read more »
BUSINESS March 14, 2014 | 5:02 PM
- Combined company will be fourth largest US menswear retailer
- Merger to save $100 million-$150 million over three years
- The two companies had been negotiating since October
American menswear retailer Men’s Wearhouse Inc. has agree to purchase rival Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. for $1.8 billion, ending months of negotiations. The combined company will have sales of $3.5 billion annually, some 23,000 employees and more than 1,700 locations.
It will become the fourth-largest menswear retailer in the US after Macy’s, Kohl’s and J.C. Penney. Improved sourcing and merchandising will save shareholders $100 million to $150 million over three years, the companies said in a joint news release.Read more »
BUSINESS March 13, 2014 | 3:01 PM
- Airlines had shared frequent-flyer programs and other benefits
- End of agreement result of merger with US Airways
- Customers to keep points earned
American Airlines cancelled its interline agreement with JetBlue, ending perks customers of both airlines enjoyed, now that it has access to the East Coast of the United States.
The agreement, which started in 2010, allowed customers to buy connecting flights on each other's planes using one ticket. It also offered frequent-flyer programs and baggage handling.Read more »
BUSINESS March 12, 2014 | 6:03 PM
- Getty providing bloggers and social media users watermark-free use of 40 million pictures from its extensive photo library free of charge
- Embeds offer new possibilities for targeted advertisements based on user data
- Getty struck deal with Pinterest to get paid for metadata on its images pinned by Pinterest users
Getty Images, the world’s biggest stock photo company, is offering its content to the public for free after recognizing that its library of over 150 million photos were being widely pirated and shared over the internet, with watermarks and without.
In the past, users needed to pay licensing fees for watermark-free Getty photos. According to The Verge, a US technology news and media organization, Getty is now removing the watermark for roughly 40 million of its pictures.Read more »
BUSINESS March 11, 2014 | 12:28 PM
- Staples to close 12% of its North American store locations
- Customers shopping online poses challenge
- Analysts say it might be too little, too late
American office supply retailer Staples Inc. plans to close 225 underperforming locations, representing 12% of its North American locations, and cut $500 million in annual costs by 2016.
The plan comes after a disappointing holiday season and forecasts for a further decline in business.Read more »
BUSINESS March 10, 2014 | 12:09 PM
- New BP continental US unit to boost cycle times, decision making and profitability against independent competitors
- US business to be BP-owned but managed independently at new Houston location
- Several oil companies worldwide divesting US shale divisions in last three years
London-based oil producer BP intends to separate its onshore US oil and gas assets into a new division that will boost the competitiveness of its shale gas portfolio there.
BP, by market value the second-largest European oil company, asserted that this separate shale division with new Houston headquarters would be more viable as a competitor against independents as it could benefit from faster cycle times and shorter decision-making times.Read more »